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Gion Matsuri Guide (July 2020): Access and Tips on Enjoying One of Japan’s Three Great Festivals

Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple Japanese Festivals (Matsuri)

Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri is a festival filled with traditional flair that’s sure to please any visitor to Japan. Starting on July 1 every year, the festival runs for a full month. The rhythmic sound of the Kane bells being played by the Hayashi performers are one of the many memorable scenes that you can experience at Gion Matsuri. Starting with the highlights, like the Yamaboko-junkō parade during the “Saki-matsuri” on July 17, and the “Ato-matsuri” on July 24, crowds of people visit the various pre-festivals, called “Yoi-yama”, all throughout the month, enveloping Kyoto in a red-hot festival atmosphere! *Due to the novel Coronavirus, the scale of the festival in 2020 has been scaled back considerably. The Yamaboko-junkō, Hikihajime, and Kakuhajime parades will not be taking place. The building of the Yamaboko floats and holding of the festival will be decided at the beginning of June. All rituals and rites to be performed will be attended only by concerned parties.

Ise-Shima Guide: Experience something out of the ordinary at Nemu Resort, surrounded by forest and ocean!

Ise, Toba, Shima Unique Hotels

Nemu Resort is a resort facility located in Ise-Shima National Park in Shima City, Mie Prefecture. There are many out-of-the-ordinary attractions awaiting you here, be it enjoying hot spring baths, savoring delicious cuisine, or partaking in the many activities offered in this natural setting, not to mention a glamping dinner under the stars. Time spent in the rich natural setting of Ise-Shima will definitely refresh and rejuvenate you.

Osaka Shopping Secrets: 5 Best Shops at Rinku Premium Outlets - Near Kansai International Airport (KIX)!

Kansai Airport Outlet Malls

Outlet malls are a favorite for shopping enthusiasts. You can buy quality items at a discount, which is a perfect place to look for gifts. There are many outlet malls in the Kansai region. Here we will take a look at Rinku Premium Outlets: the perfect place to go shopping before your flight at Kansai International Airport! This is a must-visit place when you’re visiting Osaka and Kyoto. Here are some recommended shops, restaurants, and additional discount information for Rinku Premium Outlets.

The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery Tour: Completely Immerse Yourself in the World of Whisky

Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace Other Activities

A 58-year-old man living in Kyoto who has been drinking whisky for a quite a long time, I applied online for a tour of the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery. Located in the "holy land" of whisky in the Kansai region, it should be at the top of the list of any aficionado's bucket list. The following is a record of my experience from the start to the end of the tour. It was a thoroughly enjoyable tour and one I think everyone would also enjoy.

Ultimate Guide to Budget Passes: Discover Japan's Incredible Kansai Region

Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi Other Sightseeing

Kyoto and Nara are dotted with tons of World Heritage Sites. Osaka has plenty of tourist attractions, both new and old. And the port town of Kobe is full of exoticism on its own. And now, along with these world-class tourist hot-spots, the Kansai Region Free Value Pass have extended their eligible destinations to include Shiga and Mie Prefectures. There is a reason that Kansai is dubbed the "Private Railway Kingdom," and now you can also take full advantage of the tourist destinations along these railways during your trip around Kansai.

Choice Spots

  • Arashiyama, Uzumasa
  • Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • Kobe, Sannomiya, Kitano
  • Kyoto Station, To-ji Temple
  • Nanba, Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi
  • Nara, Ikoma, Tenri
  • Shinsekai, Tennouji, Tsuruhashi
  • Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi
  • USJ, Nanko Port
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